The Info List - Antoninus Pius

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Antoninus Pius
(/ˌæntəˈnaɪnəs ˈpaɪəs/; Latin: Titus
Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Augustus
Pius;[2][3] 19 September 86 – 7 March 161 AD), also known as Antoninus, was Roman emperor
Roman emperor
from 138 to 161. He was one of the Five Good Emperors
Five Good Emperors
in the Nerva–Antonine dynasty and the Aurelii.[4] Born into a senatorial family, Antoninus held various offices during the reign of emperor Hadrian, acquiring favor which saw him adopted as Hadrian's son and successor shortly before Hadrian's death. He acquired the name Pius
after his accession to the throne, either because he compelled the Senate to deify his adoptive father Hadrian,[5] or because he had saved senators sentenced to death by Hadrian
in his later years.[6] His reign is notable for the peaceful state of the Empire, with no major revolts or military incursions during this time, and for his governing without ever leaving Italy. A successful military campaign in southern Scotland
early in his reign resulted in the construction of the Antonine Wall. Antoninus was an effective administrator, leaving his successors a large surplus in the treasury, expanding free access to drinking water throughout the Empire, encouraging legal conformity, and facilitating the enfranchisement of freed slaves. He died of illness in 161 and was succeeded by his adopted sons Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus
Lucius Verus
as co-emperors.


1 Early life

1.1 Childhood and family 1.2 Marriage and children 1.3 Favor with Hadrian

2 Emperor

2.1 A non-military reign 2.2 Economy and administration 2.3 Legal reforms 2.4 Death

3 Diplomatic mission to China 4 Historiography

4.1 In later scholarship

5 Descendants 6 Nerva–Antonine family tree 7 Notes 8 References 9 External links

Early life[edit] Childhood and family[edit] He was born as the only child of Titus
Aurelius Fulvus, consul in 89[4] whose family came from Nemausus
(modern Nîmes).[7] Titus Aurelius Fulvius was the son of a senator of the same name, who, as legate of Legio III Gallica, had supported Vespasian
in his bid to the Imperial office and been rewarded with a suffect consulship, plus an ordinary one under Domitian
in 85. The Aurelii Fulvii were therefore a relatively new senatorial family from Gallia Narbonensis
Gallia Narbonensis
whose rise to prominence was supported by the Flavians.[8] The link between Antoninus' family and their home province explains the increasing importance of the post of Proconsul
of Gallia Narbonensis
Gallia Narbonensis
during the late Second Century.[9] Antoninus was born near Lanuvium[10] and his mother was Arria Fadilla. Antoninus’ father died shortly after his 89 ordinary consulship, and Antoninus was raised by his maternal grandfather Gnaeus Arrius Antoninus,[4] reputed by contemporaries to be a man of integrity and culture and a friend of Pliny the Younger.[11] The Arrii Antoninii were an older senatorial family from Italy, very influential during Nerva's reign. Arria Fadilla, Antoninus' mother, married afterwards Publius Julius Lupus, suffect consul in 98; from that marriage came two daughters, Arria Lupula and Julia Fadilla.[12] Marriage and children[edit] Some time between 110 and 115, Antoninus married Annia Galeria Faustina the Elder.[13] They are believed to have enjoyed a happy marriage. Faustina was the daughter of consul Marcus Annius Verus[4] and Rupilia Faustina (a half-sister to Roman Empress Vibia Sabina). Faustina was a beautiful woman, and despite (basically unproven) rumours about her character, it is clear that Antoninus cared for her deeply.[14] Faustina bore Antoninus four children, two sons and two daughters.[15] They were:

Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius
Fulvus Antoninus (died before 138); his sepulchral inscription has been found at the Mausoleum of Hadrian
in Rome.[16][17] Marcus Galerius
Aurelius Antoninus (died before 138); his sepulchral inscription has been found at the Mausoleum of Hadrian
in Rome.[16][18] His name appears on a Greek Imperial coin. Aurelia Fadilla (died in 135); she married Lucius Plautius Lamia Silvanus, consul 145. She appeared to have no children with her husband; and her sepulchral inscription has been found in Italy.[19] Annia Galeria Faustina Minor or Faustina the Younger
Faustina the Younger
(between 125–130–175), a future Roman Empress, married her maternal cousin and future Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius
in 146.[7]

When Faustina died in 141, Antoninus was greatly distressed.[20] In honour of her memory, he asked the Senate to deify her as a goddess, and authorised the construction of a temple to be built in the Roman Forum in her name, with priestesses serving in her temple.[21] He had various coins with her portrait struck in her honor. These coins were scripted ‘DIVA FAUSTINA’ and were elaborately decorated. He further created a charity which he founded and called it Puellae Faustinianae or Girls of Faustina, which assisted destitute girls [13] of good family.[22] Finally, Antoninus created a new alimenta (see Grain supply to the city of Rome). The emperor never remarried. Instead, he lived with Galena Lysistrata, one of Faustina's freed women. Concubinage
was a form of female companionship sometimes chosen by powerful men in Ancient Rome, especially widowers like Vespasian, and Marcus Aurelius. Their union could not produce any legitimate offspring who could threaten any heirs, such as those of Antoninus. Also, as one could not have a wife and an official concubine (or two concubines) at the same time, Antoninus avoided being pressed into a marriage with a noblewoman from another family (Later, Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius
would also reject the advances of his former fiancée Ceionia Fabia, Lucius Verus's sister, on the grounds of protecting his children from a stepmother, and took a concubine instead).[23][24][25] Favor with Hadrian[edit]

Bust of Emperor Hadrian. Roman 117-138 CE. Probably From Rome, Italy. Formerly in the Townley Collection. Now housed in the British Museum, London.

Marble bust of Emperor Antoninus Pius. 138-161 CE. From the house of Jason Magnus at Cyrene, modern-day Libya. The British Museum, London

Having filled the offices of quaestor and praetor with more than usual success,[26] he obtained the consulship in 120.[13] He was next appointed by the Emperor Hadrian
as one of the four proconsuls to administer Italia,[27] then greatly increased his reputation by his conduct as proconsul of Asia, probably during 134–135.[27] He acquired much favor with the Emperor Hadrian, who adopted him as his son and successor on 25 February 138,[28] after the death of his first adopted son Lucius Aelius,[29] on the condition that Antoninus would in turn adopt Marcus Annius Verus, the son of his wife's brother, and Lucius, son of Lucius Aelius, who afterwards became the emperors Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius
and Lucius Verus.[13] By this scheme, Verus, who was already Hadrian's adoptive grandson through his natural father, remained Hadrian's adoptive grandson through his new father. The adoption of Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius
was probably a suggestion of Antoninus himself, since the former was the nephew of the latter's wife and would be his favorite son. Emperor[edit]

Statue of Antonius Pius
in military garb and muscle cuirass, from the Museo Chiaramonti
Museo Chiaramonti
(Vatican Museums).

The Roman Empire
Roman Empire
during the reign of Antoninus Pius.

Another version of the standardised imperial portrait; from the house of Jason Magnus at Cyrene, North Africa (British Museum).

The temple of Antoninus and Faustina in the Roman Forum
Roman Forum
(now the church of San Lorenzo in Miranda). The emperor and his Augusta were deified after their death by Marcus Aurelius.

On his accession, Antoninus' name and style became Imperator
Caesar Titus
Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Augustus
Pontifex Maximus. One of his first acts as Emperor was to persuade the Senate to grant divine honours to Hadrian, which they had at first refused;[30] his efforts to persuade the Senate to grant these honours is the most likely reason given for his title of Pius
(dutiful in affection; compare pietas).[31] Two other reasons for this title are that he would support his aged father-in-law with his hand at Senate meetings, and that he had saved those men that Hadrian, during his period of ill-health, had condemned to death.[7] Immediately after Hadrian's death, Antoninus approached Marcus and requested that his marriage arrangements be amended: Marcus' betrothal to Ceionia Fabia would be annulled, and he would be betrothed to Faustina, Antoninus' daughter, instead. Faustina's betrothal to Ceionia's brother Lucius Commodus
would also have to be annulled. Marcus consented to Antoninus' proposal.[32] Antoninus built temples, theaters, and mausoleums, promoted the arts and sciences, and bestowed honours and financial rewards upon the teachers of rhetoric and philosophy.[13] Antoninus made few initial changes when he became emperor, leaving intact as far as possible the arrangements instituted by Hadrian.[30] Epigraphical and prosopographical research has revealed that Antoninus' imperial ruling team centered around a group of closely knit senatorial families, most of them members of the priestly congregation for the cult of Hadrian, the sodales Hadrianales. According to the German historian H.G. Pflaum, prosopographical research of Antoninus' ruling team allows us to grasp the deeply conservative character of the ruling senatorial caste.[33] A non-military reign[edit] There are no records of any military related acts in his time in which he participated. One modern scholar has written "It is almost certain not only that at no time in his life did he ever see, let alone command, a Roman army, but that, throughout the twenty-three years of his reign, he never went within five hundred miles of a legion".[34] His reign was the most peaceful in the entire history of the Principate;[35] notwithstanding the fact that there were several military disturbances throughout the Empire in his time. Such disturbances happened in Mauretania
– where a senator was named as governor of Mauretania
Tingitana in place of the usual equestrian procurator[36] and cavalry reinforcements from Pannonia were brought in,[37] towns such as Sala and Tipasa
being fortified.[38] Similar disturbances took place in Judea, and amongst the Brigantes
in Britannia, none of them being considered serious.[35] It was however in Britain that Antoninus decided to follow a new, more aggressive path, with the appointment of a new governor in 139, Quintus Lollius Urbicus[30] a native of Numidia
and previously governor of Germania Inferior.[39] Under instructions from the emperor, Lollius undertook an invasion of southern Scotland, winning some significant victories, and constructing the Antonine Wall[40] from the Firth of Forth
Firth of Forth
to the Firth of Clyde. The wall, however, was soon gradually decommissioned during the mid-150s and eventually abandoned late during the reign (early 160s), for reasons that are still not quite clear.[41][42] Antonine's Wall is mentioned in just one literary source, Antoninus' biography in the Historia Augusta. Pausanias makes a brief and confused mention of a war in Britain. In one inscription honoring Antoninus, erected by Legio II Augusta, which participated in the building of the Wall, a relief showing four naked prisoners, one of them beheaded, seems to stand for some actual warfare.[43] Although Antonine's Wall was, in principle, much shorter and at first sight more defensible than Hadrian's Wall, the additional area that it enclosed within the Empire was barren, with the effect that supply lines to it were strained enough that the costs from maintaining the additional territory outweighed the benefits of doing so.[44] It has been therefore speculated that the invasion of Lowland Scotland
and the building of the wall had to do mostly with internal politics, that is, offering Antoninus an opportunity to gain some modicum of necessary military prestige at the start of his reign. Actually, the campaign in Britannia was followed by an Imperial salutation – that is, by Antoninus formally taking for the second (and last) time the title of Imperator
– in 142.[45] The fact that around the same time coins were struck announcing a victory in Britain points to Antoninus' need to publicize his achievements.[46] The orator Fronto was later to say that, although Antoninus bestowed the direction of the British campaign to others, he should be regarded as the helmsman who directed the voyage, whose glory, therefore, belonged to him.[47] That this quest for some military achievement responded to an actual need, is proved by the fact that, although generally peaceful, Antoninus' reign was not free from attempts of usurpation: Historia Augusta mentions two, made by senators Cornelius Priscianus (by the way, Lollius Urbicus' successor as governor of Britain) and Atilius Rufius Titianus – both confirmed by the Fasti Ostienses
Fasti Ostienses
as well as by the erasing of Priscianus' name from an inscription [48] In both cases, Antoninus was not in formal charge of the ensuing repression: Priscianus committed suicide and Titianus was found guilty by the Senate, with Antoninus abstaining from sequestering their families' properties[49] There were also some troubles in Dacia Inferior
Dacia Inferior
which required the granting of additional powers to the procurator governor and the dispatchment of additional soldiers to the province.[41] On the Northern Black Sea
Black Sea
coast, the Greek city of Olbia was held against the Scythians.[50] Also during his reign the governor of Upper Germany, probably Caius Popillius Carus
Pedo, built new fortifications in the Agri Decumates, advancing the Limes Germanicus
Limes Germanicus
fifteen miles forward in his province and neighboring Raetia.[51] In the East, Roman suzerainty over Armenia
was retained by the 140 choosing of Arsacid scion Sohaemus as client king.[52] Nevertheless, Antoninus was virtually unique among emperors in that he dealt with these crises without leaving Italy
once during his reign,[53] but instead dealt with provincial matters of war and peace through their governors or through imperial letters to the cities such as Ephesus
(of which some were publicly displayed). This style of government was highly praised by his contemporaries and by later generations.[54] Antoninus was the last Roman Emperor
Roman Emperor
recognised by the Indian Kingdoms. Raoul McLaughlin quotes Aurelius Victor as saying "The Indians, the Bactrians and the Hyrcanians all sent ambassadors to Antoninus. They had all heard about the spirit of justice held by this great emperor, justice that was heightened by his handsome and grave countenance, and his slim and vigorous figure." Due to the outbreak of the Antonine epidemic and wars against northern Germanic tribes, the reign of Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius
was forced to alter the focus of foreign policies and matters of the Far East was increasingly abandoned in favour of those directly concerning the Empire's survival.[55] Economy and administration[edit]

An aureus of Antoninus Pius, 145 AD

Antoninus was regarded as a skilled administrator and as a builder. In spite of an extensive building directive – the free access of the people of Rome
to drinking water was expanded with the construction of aqueducts, not only in Rome
but throughout the Empire, as well as bridges and roads – the emperor still managed to leave behind a sizable public treasury of around two and a half million sesterces ( Rome
would not witness another Emperor leaving his successor with a surplus for a long time.) But this treasury was depleted almost immediately after Antoninus's reign due to the plague brought back by soldiers after the Parthian victory[56]). The Emperor also famously suspended the collection of taxes from cities affected by natural disasters, such as when fires struck Rome and Narbona, and earthquakes affected Rhodes
and the Province of Asia. He offered hefty financial grants for rebuilding and recovery of various Greek cities after two serious earthquakes: the first, circa 140, which affected mostly Rhodes
and other islands; the second, in 152, which hit Cyzicus
– where the huge and newly built Temple to Hadrian
was destroyed[57] – Ephesus
and Smyrna. Antoninus' financial help earned him praise by Greek writers such as Aelius Aristides
Aelius Aristides
and Pausanias.[58] These cities received from Antoninus the usual honorific accolades, such as when he commended that all governors of Asia should enter the province, when taking office, by way of Ephesus.[59] Ephesus
was specially favoured by Antoninus, who confirmed and upheld its first place in the list of imperial honor titles, as opposed to Smyrna
and Pergamon.[60] In his dealings with Greek-speaking cities, Antoninus followed the policy adopted by Hadrian
of ingratiating himself with local elites, specially with local intellectuals: philosophers, teachers of literature, rhetoricians and physicians were explicitly exempted from any duties involving private spending for civic purposes – a privilege granted by Hadrian
that Antoninus confirmed by means of an edict preserved in the Digest ([61] Antoninus also created a chair for the teaching of rhetoric in Athens.[62] Antoninus was known as an avid observer of rites of religion and of formal celebrations – both Roman and foreign. He is known for having increasingly formalized the official cult offered to the Great Mother, which from his reign onwards included a bull sacrifice, a taurobolium, formerly only a private ritual, now being also performed for the sake of the Emperor's welfare.[63] Antoninus also offered patronage to the worship of Mithras, to whom he erected a temple in Ostia.[64] In 148, he presided over the celebrations of the 900th anniversary of the founding of Rome. Legal reforms[edit]

The bust of Antoninus Pius
at the Museo del Prado, Madrid

Copy inscribed in marble of a letter from Antoninus Pius
to the Ephesians, from the Bouleuterion
at Ephesus, 140-144 AD, explaining how the emperor resolved a dispute between the Roman cities of Ephesus and Smyrna, British Museum

Antoninus tried to portray himself as a magistrate of the res publica, no matter how extended and ill-defined his competences were. He is credited with the splitting of the imperial treasury, the Fiscus. This splitting had to do with the division of imperial properties into two parts: firstly, the fiscus itself – or patrimonium, meaning the properties of the "Crown", the hereditary properties of each succeeding person that sat on the throne, transmitted to his successors in office,[65] regardless of their being members of the imperial family or not;[66] secondly, the res privata, the "private" properties tied to the personal maintenance of the Emperor and his family.[67] An anecdote in the Historia Augusta
Historia Augusta
biography, where Antoninus replies to Faustina – who complained about his stinginess – that "we have gained an empire [and] lost even what we had before" possibly relates to Antoninus' actual concerns at the creation of the res privata.[68] While still a private citizen, Antoninus had increased his personal fortune greatly by mean of various legacies, the consequence – we are told – of his caring scrupulously for his relatives.[69] The res privata lands could be sold and/or given away, while the patrimonium properties were regarded as public.[70] It was a way of pretending that the Imperial function – and most properties attached to it – was a public one, formally subject to the authority of the Senate and the Roman people.[71] That the distinction played no part in subsequent political history – that the personal power of the princeps absorbed his role as office-holder – proves that the autocratic logic of the imperial order had already subsumed the old republican institutions.[72] Of the public transactions of this period there is only the scantiest of information, but, to judge by what is extant, those twenty-two years were not remarkably eventful in comparison to those before and after the reign.[11] However, Antoninus did take a great interest in the revision and practice of the law throughout the empire.[73] One of his chief concerns was to having local communities conform their legal procedures to existing Roman norms: in a case concerning repression of banditry by local police officers ("irenarchs") in Asia Minor, Antoninus ordered that these officers should not treat suspects as already condemned, and also keep a detailed copy of their interrogations, to be used in the possibility of an appeal to the Roman governor.[74] Also, although Antoninus was not an innovator, he would not always follow the absolute letter of the law; rather he was driven by concerns over humanity and equality, and introduced into Roman law
Roman law
many important new principles based upon this notion.[73] In this, the emperor was assisted by five chief lawyers: L. Fulvius Aburnius Valens, an author of legal treatises;[75] L. Ulpius Marcellus, a prolific writer; and three others .[73] These last three included L. Volusius Maecianus, a former military officer turned by Antoninus into a civil procurator, and who, in view of his subsequent career (discovered on the basis of epigraphical and prosopographical research) was the Emperor's most important legal adviser.[76] Maecianus would eventually be chosen to occupy various prefectures (see below) as well as to conduct the legal studies of Marcus Aurelius. He was also the author of a large work on Fidei Commissa (Testamentary Trusts). As a hallmark of the increased connection between jurists and the imperial government,[77] Antoninus' reign also saw the appearance of the Institutes of Gaius, an elementary legal manual for beginners (see Gaius (jurist)).[73] Antoninus passed measures to facilitate the enfranchisement of slaves.[78] Mostly, he favoured the principle of favor libertatis, giving the putative freedman the benefit of the doubt when the claim to freedom was not clearcut.[79] Also, he punished the killing of a slave by his/her master without previous trial[80] and determined that slaves could be forcibly sold to another master by a proconsul in cases of consistent mistreatment.[81] Antoninus upheld the enforcement of contracts for selling of female slaves forbidding their further employment in prostitution.[82] In criminal law, Antoninus introduced the important principle that accused persons are not to be treated as guilty before trial[78] – as in the case of the irenarchs (see above). He also asserted the principle that the trial was to be held, and the punishment inflicted, in the place where the crime had been committed. He mitigated the use of torture in examining slaves by certain limitations. Thus he prohibited the application of torture to children under fourteen years, though this rule had exceptions.[78] However, it must be stressed that Antoninus extended, by means of a rescript, the use of torture as a means of obtaining evidence to pecuniary cases, when it had been applied up until then only in criminal cases.[83] Also, already at the time torture of free men of low status (humiliores) had become legal, as proved by the fact that Antoninus exempted town councillors expressly from it, and also free men of high rank (honestiores) in general.[84] One highlight during his reign occurred in 148, with the nine-hundredth anniversary of the foundation of Rome
being celebrated by the hosting of magnificent games in Rome.[85] It lasted a number of days, and a host of exotic animals were killed, including elephants, giraffes, tigers, rhinoceroses, crocodiles and hippopotami. While this increased Antoninus’s popularity, the frugal emperor had to debase the Roman currency. He decreased the silver purity of the denarius from 89% to 83.5% — the actual silver weight dropping from 2.88 grams to 2.68 grams.[41][86] Scholars place Antoninus Pius
as the leading candidate for fulfilling the role as a friend of Rabbi Judah the Prince. According to the Talmud
(Avodah Zarah 10a-b), Rabbi Judah was very wealthy and greatly revered in Rome. He had a close friendship with "Antoninus", possibly Antoninus Pius,[87] who would consult Rabbi Judah on various worldly and spiritual matters. Death[edit]

Ruins of the triumphal arch of Antoninus Pius
outside the Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore in Eleusis, Greece, imitating Hadrian's Arch in Athens

In 156, Antoninus Pius
turned 70. He found it difficult to keep himself upright without stays. He started nibbling on dry bread to give him the strength to stay awake through his morning receptions. Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius
had already been created consul with Antoninus in 140, receiving the title of Caesar – i.e., heir apparent.[88] As Antoninus aged, Marcus would take on more administrative duties, more still after the death—in 156 or 157—of one of Antoninus' most trusted advisers, Gavius Maximus, who had been praetorian prefect (an office that was as much secretarial as military) for twenty years.[89] Gavius Maximus, who had been one of the most important members of Antoninus' "team" of long standing advisers, had been awarded with the consular insignia and to the honors due to a senator.[90] He had left behind himself the reputation of being a most strict disciplinarian (vir severissimus, according to Historia Augusta) as well as some lasting grudges among fellow equestrian procurators – one of them, by predeceasing Gavius and vilifying him in his will, created a serious embarrassment to one of the heirs, the orator Fronto.[91] Gavius Maximus' death offered the opportunity to a welcome change in the ruling team, and it has been speculated that it was the legal adviser Volusius Maecianus – who, after a brief spell as Praefect of Egypt, took the office of Praefectus annonae
Praefectus annonae
in Rome
– who assumed the role of grey eminence precisely in order to prepare the incoming – and altogether new – joint succession.[92] In 160, Marcus and Lucius were designated joint consuls for the following year. Perhaps Antoninus was already ill; in any case, he died before the year was out.[93] Two days before his death, the biographer reports, Antoninus was at his ancestral estate at Lorium, in Etruria,[94] about twelve miles (19 km) from Rome.[95] He ate Alpine Gruyere
cheese at dinner quite greedily. In the night he vomited; he had a fever the next day. The day after that, 7 March 161,[96] he summoned the imperial council, and passed the state and his daughter to Marcus. The emperor gave the keynote to his life in the last word that he uttered was when the tribune of the night-watch came to ask the password he then responded "aequanimitas" (equanimity).[97] He then turned over, as if going to sleep, and died.[98] His death closed out the longest reign since Augustus
(surpassing Tiberius
by a couple of months).[99] His record for the second-longest reign would be unbeaten for 168 years, until 329 when it was surpassed by Constantine the Great. Antoninus Pius' funeral ceremonies were, in the words of the biographer, "elaborate".[100] If his funeral followed the pattern of past funerals, his body would have been incinerated on a pyre at the Campus Martius, while his spirit would rise to the gods' home in the heavens. However, it seems that this was not the case: according to his Historia Augusta
Historia Augusta
biography (which seems to reproduce an earlier, detailed report) Antoninus' body (and not his ashes) was buried in Hadrian's mausoleum. After a seven-day interval (justitium), Marcus and Lucius nominated their father for deification.[101] In contrast to their behavior during Antoninus' campaign to deify Hadrian, the senate did not oppose the emperors' wishes. A flamen, or cultic priest, was appointed to minister the cult of the deified Antoninus, now Divus Antoninus. A column was dedicated to Antoninus on the Campus Martius,[13] and the temple he had built in the Forum in 141 to his deified wife Faustina was rededicated to the deified Faustina and the deified Antoninus.[97] It survives as the church of San Lorenzo in Miranda.[102] Diplomatic mission to China[edit] See also: Sino-Roman relations

Green Roman glass
Roman glass
cup unearthed from an Eastern Han Dynasty
(25-220 AD) tomb, Guangxi, China

The first group of people claiming to be an ambassadorial mission of Romans to China
was recorded in 166 AD by the Hou Hanshu.[103] The embassy came to Emperor Huan of Han
Emperor Huan of Han
from "Andun" (Chinese: 安敦; Emperor Antoninus Pius), "king of Daqin" (Rome). As Antoninus Pius
died in 161, leaving the empire to his adoptive son Marcus Aurelius (Antoninus), and the envoy arrived in 166, confusion remains about who sent the mission given that both Emperors were named 'Antoninus'.[104][105][106] The Roman mission came from the south (therefore probably by sea), entering China
by the frontier province of Jiaozhi
at Rinan
or Tonkin
(present-day northern Vietnam). It brought presents of rhinoceros horns, ivory, and tortoise shell, probably acquired in Southern Asia.[103][107] The text specifically states that it was the first time there had been direct contact between the two countries.[103][108] Furthermore, a Republican-era Roman glassware has been found at a Western Han
Western Han
tomb in Guangzhou
along the South China
Sea, dated to the early 1st century BC.[109] Roman golden medallions made during the reign of Antoninus Pius
and perhaps even Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius
have been found at Óc Eo in southern Vietnam, then part of the Kingdom of Funan near the Chinese province of Jiaozhi.[110][111] This may have been the port city of Kattigara, described by Ptolemy
(c. 150) as being visited by a Greek sailor named Alexander and laying beyond the Golden Chersonese (i.e. Malay Peninsula).[110][111] Roman coins from the reigns of Tiberius
to Aurelian
have been discovered in Xi'an, China (site of the Han capital Chang'an), although the significantly greater amount of Roman coins unearthed in India suggest the Roman maritime trade for purchasing Chinese silk was centered there, not in China
or even the overland Silk Road
Silk Road
running through ancient Iran.[112] Historiography[edit]

Arch of Antoninus Pius
in Sbeïtla, Tunisia.

Statue of Antoninus Pius, Palazzo Altemps, Rome

The only intact account of his life handed down to us is that of the Augustan History, an unreliable and mostly fabricated work. Nevertheless, it still contains information that is considered reasonably sound – for instance, it is the only source that mentions the erection of the Antonine Wall
Antonine Wall
in Britain.[113] Antoninus is unique among Roman emperors in that he has no other biographies. In later scholarship[edit] Antoninus in many ways was the ideal of the landed gentleman praised not only by ancient Romans, but also by later scholars of classical history, such as Edward Gibbon[114] or the author of the article on Antoninus Pius
in the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition.[11]

A few months afterwards, on Hadrian's death, he was enthusiastically welcomed to the throne by the Roman people, who, for once, were not disappointed in their anticipation of a happy reign. For Antoninus came to his new office with simple tastes, kindly disposition, extensive experience, a well-trained intelligence and the sincerest desire for the welfare of his subjects. Instead of plundering to support his prodigality, he emptied his private treasury to assist distressed provinces and cities, and everywhere exercised rigid economy (hence the nickname κυμινοπριστης "cummin-splitter"). Instead of exaggerating into treason whatever was susceptible of unfavorable interpretation, he turned the very conspiracies that were formed against him into opportunities for demonstrating his clemency. Instead of stirring up persecution against the Christians, he extended to them the strong hand of his protection throughout the empire. Rather than give occasion to that oppression which he regarded as inseparable from an emperor's progress through his dominions, he was content to spend all the years of his reign in Rome, or its neighbourhood.[11]

Some historians have a less positive view of his reign. According to the historian J. B. Bury,

however estimable the man, Antoninus was hardly a great statesman. The rest which the Empire enjoyed under his auspices had been rendered possible through Hadrian’s activity, and was not due to his own exertions; on the other hand, he carried the policy of peace at any price too far, and so entailed calamities on the state after his death. He not only had no originality or power of initiative, but he had not even the insight or boldness to work further on the new lines marked out by Hadrian.[115]

German historian Ernst Kornemann has had it in his Römische Geschichte [2 vols., ed. by H. Bengtson, Stuttgart 1954] that the reign of Antoninus comprised "a succession of grossly wasted opportunities," given the upheavals that were to come. There is more to this argument, given that the Parthians in the East were themselves soon to make no small amount of mischief after Antoninus' passing. Kornemann's brief is that Antoninus might have waged preventive wars to head off these outsiders. Michael Grant agrees that it is possible that had Antoninus acted decisively sooner (it appears on his death bed, he was preparing a large scale action against the Parthians), the Parthians might have been unable to choose their own time, but current evidences are not conclusive. Grant opines that Antoninus and his officers did act in a resolute manner dealing with frontier disturbances of his time, although conditions for long lasting peace were not created. On the whole, according to Grant, Marcus Aurelius' eulogistic picture of Antoninus seems deserved, and Antonius appears to have been a conservative and nationalistic (although he respected and followed Hadrian's example of Philhellenism moderately) Emperor who was not tainted by the blood of either citizen or foe, combined and maintained Numa Pompilius' good fortune, pacific dutifulness and religious scrupulousness, and whose laws removed anomalies and softened harshnesses.[116] Krzysztof Ulanowski argues that the claims of military inability is exaggerated, considering that although the sources praise Antoninus' love for peace and his efforts 'rather to defend, than enlarge the provinces', he could hardly be considered a pacifist, as shown by the conquest of the Lowlands, the building of the Antonine Wall
Antonine Wall
and the expansion of Germania Superior. Ulianowski also praises Antoninus for being successful in deterrence by diplomatic means.[117] Descendants[edit]

Marble bust portrait of Antoninus Pius
in the Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg

Marble statue fragment of Antonius Pius
found in Terracina
(Italy), Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Rome

Although only one of his four children survived to adulthood, Antoninus came to be ancestor to four generations of prominent Romans, including the Emperor Commodus. Hans-Georg Pflaum has identified five direct descendants of Antoninus and Faustina who were consuls in the first half of the third century.[118]

Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius
Fulvus Antoninus (died before 138), died young without issue Marcus Galerius
Aurelius Antoninus (died before 138), died young without issue Aurelia Fadilla (died in 135), who married Lucius Plautius Lamia Silvanus, suffect consul in 145;[119] no children known for certain. Faustina the Younger
Faustina the Younger
(16 February between 125 and 130 – 175), had several children; those who had children were:[120]

Annia Aurelia Galeria Lucilla
(7 March 150 – 182?), whose children included:


Annia Galeria Aurelia Faustina (151 – ?), whose children included:

Severus Proculus

Fadilla (159 – ?) Annia Cornificia Faustina Minor
Annia Cornificia Faustina Minor
(160 – 213) Vibia Aurelia Sabina
Vibia Aurelia Sabina
(170 – before 217), died without issue

Nerva–Antonine family tree[edit]

v t e

Nerva–Antonine family tree

Q. Marcius Barea Soranus

Q. Marcius Barea Sura

Antonia Furnilla

M. Cocceius Nerva

Sergia Plautilla

P. Aelius Hadrianus

Titus (r. 79–81)

Marcia Furnilla


Trajanus Pater

Nerva (r. 96–98)


Aelius Hadrianus Marullinus

Julia Flavia[ii]


C. Salonius Matidius[iv]

Trajan (r. 98–117)


P. Acilius Attianus

P. Aelius Afer[v]

Paulina Major[vi]

Lucius Mindius (2)

Libo Rupilius Frugi (3)


L. Vibius Sabinus (1)[viii]

Paulina Minor[vi]

L. Julius Ursus Servianus[ix]

Matidia Minor[vii]



Hadrian[v][xi][vi] (r. 117–138)


Julia Balbilla?[xiii]

C. Fuscus Salinator I

Julia Serviana Paulina

M. Annius Verus[xiv]

Rupilia Faustina[xv]

Boionia Procilla

Cn. Arrius Antoninus

L. Ceionius Commodus

Appia Severa

C. Fuscus Salinator II

L. Caesennius Paetus

Arria Antonina

Arria Fadilla[xvi]

T. Aurelius Fulvus

L. Caesennius Antoninus

L. Commodus

Fundania Plautia


C. Avidius Nigrinus

M. Annius Verus[xv]

Domitia Lucilla[xviii]


M. Annius Libo[xv]


Antoninus Pius (r. 138–161)[xvi]

L. Aelius Caesar[xvii]

Avidia Plautia[xvii]


MARCUS AURELIUS (r. 161–180)[xx]

FAUSTINA Minor[xx]

C. Avidius Cassius[xxi]

Aurelia Fadilla[xvi]

LUCIUS VERUS (r. 161–169)[xvii] (1)

Ceionia Fabia[xvii]

Plautius Quintillus[xxii]

Q. Servilius Pudens

Ceionia Plautia[xvii]

Cornificia Minor[xxiii]

M. Petronius Sura

COMMODUS (r. 177–192)[xx]


M. Annius Verus Caesar[xx]

Ti.  Claudius
Pompeianus (2)


M. Plautius Quintillus[xvii]

Junius Licinius

Servilia Ceionia

Petronius Antoninus

L. Aurelius Agaclytus (2)

Aurelia Sabina[xxiii]

L. Antistius Burrus (1)

Plautius Quintillus

Plautia Servilla

C. Furius Sabinus Timesitheus

Antonia Gordiana

Junius Licinius

Furia Sabina Tranquillina

GORDIAN III (r. 238–244)

(1) = 1st spouse (2) = 2nd spouse (3) = 3rd spouse

  Reddish purple indicates emperor of the Nerva-Antonine dynasty

  lighter purple indicates designated imperial heir of said dynasty who never reigned

  grey indicates unsuccessful imperial aspirants

  bluish purple indicates emperors of other dynasties

dashed lines indicate adoption; dotted lines indicate love affairs/unmarried relationships small caps = posthumously deified (Augusti, Augustae, or other)

Notes: Except where otherwise noted, the notes below indicate that an individual's parentage is as shown in the above family tree.

^ Sister of Trajan's father: Giacosa (1977), p. 7. ^ Giacosa (1977), p. 8. ^ a b Levick (2014), p. 161. ^ Husband of Ulpia Marciana: Levick (2014), p. 161. ^ a b Giacosa (1977), p. 7. ^ a b c DIR contributor (Herbert W. Benario, 2000), "Hadrian". ^ a b Giacosa (1977), p. 9. ^ Husband of Salonia Matidia: Levick (2014), p. 161. ^ Smith (1870), "Julius Servianus".[dead link] ^ Suetonius
a possible lover of Sabina: One interpretation of HA Hadrianus 11:3 ^ Smith (1870), "Hadrian", pp. 319–322.[dead link] ^ Lover of Hadrian: Lambert (1984), p. 99 and passim; deification: Lamber (1984), pp. 2-5, etc. ^ Julia Balbilla a possible lover of Sabina: A. R. Birley (1997), Hadrian, the Restless Emperor, p. 251, cited in Levick (2014), p. 30, who is sceptical of this suggestion. ^ Husband of Rupilia Faustina: Levick (2014), p. 163. ^ a b c d Levick (2014), p. 163. ^ a b c d Levick (2014), p. 162. ^ a b c d e f g Levick (2014), p. 164. ^ Wife of M. Annius Verus: Giacosa (1977), p. 10. ^ Wife of M. Annius Libo: Levick (2014), p. 163. ^ a b c d e Giacosa (1977), p. 10. ^ The epitomator of Cassius Dio (72.22) gives the story that Faustina the Elder promised to marry Avidius Cassius. This is also echoed in HA "Marcus Aurelius" 24. ^ Husband of Ceionia Fabia: Levick (2014), p. 164. ^ a b c Levick (2014), p. 117.


DIR contributors (2000). "De Imperatoribus Romanis: An Online Encyclopedia of Roman Rulers and Their Families". Retrieved 2015-04-14.  Giacosa, Giorgio (1977). Women of the Caesars: Their Lives and Portraits on Coins. Translated by R. Ross Holloway. Milan: Edizioni Arte e Moneta. ISBN 0-8390-0193-2.  Lambert, Royston (1984). Beloved and God: The Story of Hadrian
and Antinous. New York: Viking. ISBN 0-670-15708-2.  Levick, Barbara (2014). Faustina I and II: Imperial Women of the Golden Age. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-537941-9.  William Smith, ed. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 


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24.4 ^ a b c Bury, p. 523 ^ Hugo Thomas Dupuis Whitfield, "THE RISE OF NEMAUSUS FROM AUGUSTUS TO ANTONINUS PIUS: A PROSOPOGRAPHICAL STUDY OF NEMAUSIAN SENATORS AND EQUESTRIANS".M.A. Thesis, Queen's University, Ontario, 2012, pages 49/57. Available at [1].Accessed January 24, 2016 ^ Michel Gayraud, "Le proconsulat de Narbonnaise sous le Haut-Empire". In: Revue des Études Anciennes. Tome 72, 1970, n°3-4. pp. 344-363. Available at [2]. Accessed January 24, 2016 ^ Harvey, Paul B., Religion in republican Italy, Cambridge University Press, 2006, p. 134; Canduci, p. 39 ^ a b c d Chisholm 1911. ^ Birley, p. 242; Historia Augusta, Life of Antoninus Pius
1:6 ^ a b c d e f Weigel, Antoninus Pius ^ Vagi, David L. (2000). Coinage and History of the Roman Empire, C. 82 B.C. – A.D. 480: History. Taylor & Francis. p. 240. ISBN 9781579583163.  ^ Birley, p. 34; Historia Augusta, Life of Antoninus Pius
1:7 ^ a b Magie, David, Historia Augusta
Historia Augusta
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AD 14-192. London: Routledge, 2014, ISBN 978-1-138-01920-1, page 447; Paul Veyne, L'Empire Gréco-Romain, Paris: Seuil, 2005, ISBN 2-02-057798-4, page 28, footnote 61; Salway, 149 ^ Marta García Morcillo, Las ventas por subasta en el mundo romano: la esfera privada. Edicions Universitat Barcelona, 2005, ISBN 84-475-3017-5, page 301 ^ Gocha R. Tsetskhladze, ed., North Pontic Archaeology: Recent Discoveries and Studies. Leiden: Brill, 2001, ISBN 90-04-12041-6, page 425 ^ Birley, p. 113 ^ Rouben Paul Adalian, Historical Dictionary of Armenia, Lanham: Scarecrow, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8108-6096-4, entry "Arshakuni/Arsacid", page 174 ^ Speidel, Michael P., Riding for Caesar: The Roman Emperors' Horse Guards, Harvard University Press, 1997, p. 50; Canduci, p. 40 ^ See Victor, 15:3 ^ McLaughlin, Raoul (2010). Books on Google Play. Rome
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to Marcus Aurelius. Library of Alexandria, s.d.g. ^ Oxford Classical Dictionary, London: 2012, ISBN 978-0-19-954556-8, entry "Patrimonium". ^ After the death of Nero, the personal properties of the Julio-Claudian dynasty
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and Society at Rome. Cambridge University Press: 1994, ISBN 9780521263351, page 162 ^ Aubert, Jean-Jacques. "L’esclave en droit romain ou l’impossible réification de l’homme." Esclavage et travail forcé, Cahiers de la Recherche sur les droits fondamentaux (CRDF). Vol. 10. 2012. ^ Anastasia Serghidou, ed. Fear of slaves, fear of enslavement in the ancient Mediterranean. Presses Univ. Franche-Comté, 2007 ISBN 978-2-84867-169-7, page 159 ^ Jean-Michel Carrié & Aline Rousselle, L'Empire Romain en Mutation, des Sévères à Constantin, 192-337. Paris: Seuil 1999, ISBN 2-02-025819-6, page 290 ^ Digest, 48.18.9, as quoted by Edward Peters, Torture, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996, ISBN 0-8122-1599-0, page 29 ^ Grant, 154/155. ^ Bowman, pg, 154 ^ Tulane University "Roman Currency of the Principate" ^ A. Mischcon, Abodah Zara, p.10a Soncino, 1988. Mischcon cites various sources, "SJ Rappaport... is of opinion that our Antoninus is Antoninus Pius." Other opinions cited suggest "Antoninus" was Caracalla, Lucius Verus
Lucius Verus
or Alexander Severus. ^ Geoffrey William Adams, Marcus Aurelius
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in the Historia Augusta
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12.4–8; Birley, Marcus Aurelius, 114. ^ Bowman, p. 156 ^ HA Marcus 7.10, tr. David Magie, cited in Birley, Marcus Aurelius, 118, 278 n.6. ^ Robert Turcan, "Origines et sens de l'inhumation à l'époque impériale". In: Revue des Études Anciennes. Tome 60, 1958, n°3-4. pp. 323-347. Available at [10]. Accessed January 14, 2016 ^ Birley, Marcus Aurelius, 118. ^ a b c For a full translation of that passage, see: Paul Halsall (2000) [1998]. Jerome S. Arkenberg, ed. "East Asian History Sourcebook: Chinese Accounts of Rome, Byzantium and the Middle East, c. 91 B.C.E. – 1643 C.E." Fordham.edu. Fordham University. Retrieved 2016-09-17.  ^ Yü, Ying-shih. (1986). "Han Foreign Relations," in Denis Twitchett and Michael Loewe (eds), The Cambridge History of China: Volume I: the Ch'in and Han Empires, 221 B.C. – A.D. 220, 377-462, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 460–461, ISBN 978-0-521-24327-8. ^ de Crespigny, Rafe (2007), A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23–220 AD), Leiden: Koninklijke Brill, p. 600, ISBN 978-90-04-15605-0. ^ Pulleyblank, Edwin G.; Leslie, D. D.; Gardiner, K. H. J. (1999). "The Roman Empire
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as Known to Han China". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 119 (1): 71–79. doi:10.2307/605541. JSTOR 605541. ^ Hill (2009), p. 27 and nn. 12.18 and 12.20. ^ Hill (2009), p. 27. ^ An, Jiayao. (2002), "When Glass Was Treasured in China," in Annette L. Juliano and Judith A. Lerner (eds), Silk Road
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Studies VII: Nomads, Traders, and Holy Men Along China's Silk Road, 79–94, Turnhout: Brepols Publishers, ISBN 2503521789, p. 83. ^ a b Gary K. Young (2001), Rome's Eastern Trade: International Commerce and Imperial Policy, 31 BC – AD 305, London & New York: Routledge, ISBN 0-415-24219-3, pp 29-30 ^ a b For further information on Oc Eo, see Milton Osborne (2006), The Mekong: Turbulent Past, Uncertain Future, Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin, revised edition, first published in 2000, ISBN 1-74114-893-6, pp 24-25. ^ Warwick Ball (2016), Rome
in the East: Transformation of an Empire, 2nd edition, London & New York: Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-72078-6, p. 154. ^ Historia Augusta, Life of Antoninus Pius
5:4 ^ Gibbon, Edward (2015). Delphi Complete Works of Edward Gibbon (Illustrated). Delphi Classics. p. 125. ISBN 9781910630761.  ^ Bury, p. 524 ^ Grant, Michael (2016). The Antonines: The Roman Empire
Roman Empire
in Transition. Routledge. pp. 14–23. ISBN 9781317972112.  ^ Ulanowski, Krzysztof (2016). The Religious Aspects of War in the Ancient Near East, Greece, and Rome: Ancient Warfare Series, Volume 1. BRILL. pp. 360–361. ISBN 9789004324763.  ^ Pflaum, "Les gendres de Marc-Aurèle", Journal des savants (1961), pp. 28-41 ^ Ronald Syme, "Antonine Relatives: Ceionii and Vettuleni", Athenaeum, 35 (1957), p. 309 ^ Based on Table F, "The Children of Faustina II" in Birley, Marcus Aurelius (2000)


Primary sources

Cassius Dio, Roman History, Book 70, [11] Aurelius Victor, "Epitome de Caesaribus", English version of Epitome de Caesaribus Historia Augusta, The Life of Antoninus Pius, English version of Historia Augusta
Historia Augusta
Note that the Historia Augusta
Historia Augusta
includes pseudohistorical elements.

Secondary sources

Weigel, Richard D. "Antoninus Pius
(A.D. 138–161) De Imperatoribus Romanis".  Bowman, Alan K. (2000). The Cambridge Ancient History: The High Empire, A.D. 70–192. Cambridge University Press.  Birley, Anthony (2000). Marcus Aurelius. Routledge.  Canduci, Alexander (2010). Triumph & Tragedy: The Rise and Fall of Rome's Immortal Emperors. Pier 9. ISBN 978-1-74196-598-8.  Bury, J. B. (1893). A History of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
from its Foundation to the Death of Marcus Aurelius. Harper.  Hill, John E. (2009). Through the Jade Gate to Rome: A Study of the Silk Routes during the Later Han Dynasty, First to Second Centuries CE. BookSurge. ISBN 978-1-4392-2134-1.  Hüttl, W. (1936) [1933]. Antoninus Pius. I & II, Prag.   This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Antoninus Pius". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 148–149.  This source lists:

Bossart-Mueller, Zur Geschichte des Kaisers A. (1868) Bryant, The Reign of Antonine (Cambridge Historical Essays, 1895) Lacour-Gayet, A. le Pieux et son Temps (1888) Watson, P. B. (1884). "ii". Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius
Antoninus. London. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Antoninus Pius
at Wikimedia Commons

Antoninus Pius Antonine dynasty Cadet branch of the Nervan-Antonian Dynasty Born: 19 September 86 Died: 7 March 161

Regnal titles

Preceded by Hadrian Roman Emperor 138–161 Succeeded by Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius
and Lucius Verus

Political offices

Preceded by Gaius Herennius Capella, and Lucius Coelius Rufus as suffect consuls Consul
of the Roman Empire 120 with Lucius Catilius Severus Iulianus Claudius
Reginus Succeeded by Gaius Quinctius Certus Poblicius Marcellus, and Titus
Rutilius Propinquus as suffect consuls

Preceded by Publius Cassius Secudus, and Publius Delphius Peregrinus Alfius Allenius Maxmius Curtius Valerianus Proculus Marcus Nonius Mucianus as suffect consuls Consul
of the Roman Empire 139 with Gaius Bruttius Praesens Fulvius Rusticus II Succeeded by Lucius Minicius Natalis Quadronius Verus, and Lucius Claudius
Proculus as suffect consuls

Preceded by Marcus Ceccius Justinus, and Gaius Julius Bassus as suffect consuls Consul
of the Roman Empire 140 with Marcus Aurelius Succeeded by Quintus Antonius Isauricus, and Lucius Aurelius Flaccus as suffect consuls

Preceded by Lucius Marcius Celer M. Calpurnius Longus, and Decimus Velius Fidus as suffect consuls Consul
of the Roman Empire 145 with Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius
II Succeeded by Lucius Plautius Lamia Silvanus, and Lucius Poblicola Priscus as suffect consuls

v t e

Roman and Byzantine emperors

Principate 27 BC – 235 AD

Augustus Tiberius Caligula Claudius Nero Galba Otho Vitellius Vespasian Titus Domitian Nerva Trajan Hadrian Antoninus Pius Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius
and Lucius Verus Commodus Pertinax Didius Julianus (Pescennius Niger) (Clodius Albinus) Septimius Severus Caracalla
with Geta Macrinus
with Diadumenian Elagabalus Severus Alexander

Crisis 235–284

Maximinus Thrax Gordian I
Gordian I
and Gordian II Pupienus
and Balbinus Gordian III Philip the Arab
Philip the Arab
with Philip II Decius
with Herennius Etruscus Hostilian Trebonianus Gallus
Trebonianus Gallus
with Volusianus Aemilianus Valerian Gallienus
with Saloninus and Valerian II Claudius
Gothicus Quintillus Aurelian Tacitus Florian Probus Carus Carinus
and Numerian

Gallic Emperors: Postumus (Laelianus) Marius Victorinus (Domitianus II) Tetricus I
Tetricus I
with Tetricus II
Tetricus II
as Caesar

Dominate 284–395

(whole empire) Diocletian
(East) and Maximian
(West) Diocletian
(East) and Maximian
(West) with Galerius
(East) and Constantius Chlorus
Constantius Chlorus
(West) as Caesares Galerius
(East) and Constantius Chlorus
Constantius Chlorus
(West) with Severus (West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
(East) and Severus (West) with Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
(East) and Maxentius
(West) with Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Galerius
(East) and Licinius
I (West) with Constantine the Great (West) and Maximinus II (East) as Caesares Maxentius
(alone) Licinius
I (West) and Maximinus II (East) with Constantine the Great (Self-proclaimed Augustus) and Valerius Valens Licinius
I (East) and Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(West) with Licinius
II, Constantine II, and Crispus
as Caesares (Martinian) Constantine the Great
Constantine the Great
(whole empire) with son Crispus
as Caesar Constantine II Constans
I Magnentius
with Decentius as Caesar Constantius II
Constantius II
with Vetranio Julian Jovian Valentinian the Great Valens Gratian Valentinian II Magnus Maximus
Magnus Maximus
with Victor Theodosius the Great (Eugenius)

Western Empire 395–480

Honorius Constantine III with son Constans
II) Constantius III Joannes Valentinian III Petronius Maximus
Petronius Maximus
with Palladius Avitus Majorian Libius Severus Anthemius Olybrius Glycerius Julius Nepos Romulus Augustulus

Eastern/ Byzantine Empire 395–1204

Arcadius Theodosius II Pulcheria Marcian Leo I the Thracian Leo II Zeno (first reign) Basiliscus
with son Marcus as co-emperor Zeno (second reign) Anastasius I Dicorus Justin I Justinian the Great Justin II Tiberius
II Constantine Maurice with son Theodosius as co-emperor Phocas Heraclius Constantine III Heraklonas Constans
II Constantine IV
Constantine IV
with brothers Heraclius
and Tiberius
and then Justinian II as co-emperors Justinian II
Justinian II
(first reign) Leontios Tiberios III Justinian II
Justinian II
(second reign) with son Tiberius
as co-emperor Philippikos Anastasios II Theodosius III Leo III the Isaurian Constantine V Artabasdos Leo IV the Khazar Constantine VI Irene Nikephoros I Staurakios Michael I Rangabe
Michael I Rangabe
with son Theophylact as co-emperor Leo V the Armenian
Leo V the Armenian
with Symbatios-Constantine as junior emperor Michael II
Michael II
the Amorian Theophilos Michael III Basil I
Basil I
the Macedonian Leo VI the Wise Alexander Constantine VII
Constantine VII
Porphyrogennetos Romanos I Lekapenos
Romanos I Lekapenos
with sons Christopher, Stephen and Constantine as junior co-emperors Romanos II Nikephoros II Phokas John I Tzimiskes Basil II Constantine VIII Zoë (first reign) and Romanos III Argyros Zoë (first reign) and Michael IV the Paphlagonian Michael V Kalaphates Zoë (second reign) with Theodora Zoë (second reign) and Constantine IX Monomachos Constantine IX Monomachos
Constantine IX Monomachos
(sole emperor) Theodora Michael VI Bringas Isaac I Komnenos Constantine X Doukas Romanos IV Diogenes Michael VII Doukas
Michael VII Doukas
with brothers Andronikos and Konstantios and son Constantine Nikephoros III Botaneiates Alexios I Komnenos John II Komnenos
John II Komnenos
with Alexios Komnenos as co-emperor Manuel I Komnenos Alexios II Komnenos Andronikos I Komnenos Isaac II Angelos Alexios III Angelos Alexios IV Angelos Nicholas Kanabos (chosen by the Senate) Alexios V Doukas

Empire of Nicaea 1204–1261

Constantine Laskaris Theodore I Laskaris John III Doukas Vatatzes Theodore II Laskaris John IV Laskaris

Eastern/ Byzantine Empire 1261–1453

Michael VIII Palaiologos Andronikos II Palaiologos
Andronikos II Palaiologos
with Michael IX Palaiologos
Michael IX Palaiologos
as co-emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos John V Palaiologos John VI Kantakouzenos
John VI Kantakouzenos
with John V Palaiologos
John V Palaiologos
and Matthew Kantakouzenos as co-emperors John V Palaiologos Andronikos IV Palaiologos John VII Palaiologos Andronikos V Palaiologos Manuel II Palaiologos John VIII Palaiologos Constantine XI Palaiologos

Italics indicates a co-emperor, while underlining indicates an usurper.

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 282104028 LCCN: n79148931 ISNI: 0000 0001 1028 122X GND: 118503499 SUDOC: 074477226 BNF: cb12561134c (data) BIBSYS: 6044213 ULAN: 500115700 NLA: 35120